How to Remove Water Marks from Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are popular in kitchens and bathrooms for their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, they can develop unsightly water marks over time from spills, condensation from glasses, and cleaning products. The good news is that water marks on quartz are fairly easy to remove with the right techniques and products.

What Causes Water Marks on Quartz?

Quartz countertops are non-porous, so liquids do not penetrate the surface. However, when moisture sits on the surface, minerals from the water can leave behind a residue that etches the finish. This causes a visible mark or spot. The main causes of water marks on quartz include:

  • Hard water, which contains a high mineral content
  • Spills from drinks like coffee, tea, wine, and juice
  • Moisture from condensation when you place glasses down
  • Minerals in cleaning products and alkaline detergents

Certain quartz colors and finishes are more prone to etching and water marks than others.

Removing Light Water Marks from Quartz

For light water marks that have not etched the quartz deeply, you may be able to remove them using household products. Here are some easy methods to try:

Distilled White Vinegar: The mild acidity in vinegar can help dissolve mineral deposits and water residue on quartz. Dip a soft cloth in undiluted white vinegar and wring it out slightly so it’s damp. Gently rub the affected areas of the countertop. Rinse with clean water and dry with a microfiber cloth.

Baking Soda Paste: Make a paste by mixing a few tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable consistency. Apply the paste to the water marks and let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing gently with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse and dry completely. The abrasive but gentle texture of baking soda can lift residues.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser: These melamine cleaning pads work well to remove light water spots and surface stains on quartz countertops. Dampen the pad and rub it over the marks using light pressure and circular motions. Rinse the area afterward.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Combine 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the solution onto the marks and let it fizz on the surface for a minute or two before wiping clean with a soft cloth.

Microfiber Cloth: For very light water stains, simply using a damp microfiber cloth and some elbow grease can remove the marks. Make sure to rinse and wipe the area completely after scrubbing.

Treating Stubborn Water Stains on Quartz

If light cleaning methods do not remove the water marks from your quartz countertops, it’s time to bring out the big guns. For deep, etched-in stains, you will need more heavy-duty products and tools.

Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Paste: For a more potent DIY cleaning paste, mix 2 parts baking soda with 1 part hydrogen peroxide to form a spreadable paste. Apply it to the affected area, allow to sit for 10 minutes, then scrub with a soft brush or Scotch-Brite pad.

Scotch-Brite Pad: Use a gentle scrubbing motion and light pressure with these abrasive pads to buff out etched water spots and residue without damaging the quartz surface. Avoid coarse scrubbing pads which can scratch.

Glass Cooktop Cleaner: These cleaners contain ingredients like citric acid to cut through mineral deposits. Use a soft cloth to rub a small amount of cleaner onto the water marks. Let it sit briefly before wiping clean.

Bar Keeper’s Friend: This popular cleaning powder contains oxalic acid to remove rust, mineral deposits, and other tough stains. Make it into a paste, apply to marks, let sit 5-10 minutes, then scrub gently with a sponge before rinsing.

Mild Abrasive Cleanser: Cleansers like Soft Scrub, Bon Ami, and Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser contain mild abrasives that can help scrub away stubborn water stains without damaging quartz. Apply a small amount and use a damp sponge or cloth in a circular motion.

Razor Blade Scraper: Use this method carefully and at your own risk. Hold a new single edge razor blade at a 45 degree angle and gently scrape the length of the water stain to buff the top layer of the finish. This may remove light etching.

Preventing Future Water Marks on Quartz

Once you get those pesky water marks removed, you’ll want to take steps to prevent new ones from forming:

  • Wipe up spills immediately to prevent moisture from sitting
  • Use coasters under glasses and cups
  • Avoid using cleaners with alkaline, acid, or chloride as these can etch quartz
  • Clean with a soft sponge or cloth, avoid abrasive pads
  • Use a squeegee to wipe off excess water after cleaning
  • Consider sealing your quartz countertops annually with a protective sealer

With proper care and by addressing water marks as soon as they appear, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new for years to come. Don’t let stains and mineral deposits ruin the beautiful finish. Be vigilant and utilize these removal techniques as soon as you notice water spots developing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bleach to remove water marks from quartz?

No, avoid using bleach or other harsh chemicals that can damage or discolor quartz surfaces. Stick to gentle cleaning solutions.

Will a buffing pad or polishing compound remove stains from my quartz?

You can try gently buffing with a soft polishing pad and mineral spirits or isopropyl alcohol to reduce the appearance of some light water marks. But be very careful not to apply too much pressure, which can damage the top layer.

Why do some marks reappear after I clean them?

If stains reappear, they are likely etched into the quartz and require a deeper clean. Try cleaning twice with an abrasive cleaner to ensure you fully remove any etched-in mineral deposits.

How can I make my quartz more water-resistant?

Applying a penetrating sealer to quartz 1-2 times per year can make the surface more impervious to moisture and stains. Be sure to use a sealer formulated for quartz.

Will vinegar or lemon juice damage my quartz countertops?

Diluted vinegar or lemon juice are fine for cleaning quartz and won’t etch or dull the finish. But avoid allowing pure, concentrated acids to sit on the surface which can damage the polish over time.


Water marks and hard water stains are common on quartz countertops but they don’t have to ruin the appearance permanently. With the proper cleaning techniques, a little time and elbow grease, you can safely remove water spots and prevent new ones from forming. Be sure to address light marks quickly before they have a chance to etch. For stubborn stains, reach for heavier duty cleaners. And take steps to seal and protect your quartz from moisture damage in the future. With some care, your quartz counters will stay looking like new.